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So What Now?

March 20, 2018

March 19, 2018 – On it’s final reading, The House of Representatives has approved the Absolute Divorce Bill.

A milestone for the Philippines, the farthest a divorce law proposal has gone in the legislative process.

Given that the PH is a largely religious country, the backlash on the bill is overwhelming.

I go on reading comments on the bill, trolls mostly citing biblical passages justifying that this is against the law of God. Others saying that if the bill gets passed into a law, divorce will be rampant in the country (WTF?).

First, why would there be a surge of divorce cases if ever the bill gets passed into a law? Does this mean that majority of the marriages in the Philippines are problematic?? Please enlighten me as I believe that if a married couple are standing on solid ground, a certain “divorce law” will not shake them.

If people only take the time to read what’s inside the bill (citing “that the proper court shall not start the trial of a petition for absolute divorce before the expiration of a mandatory six-month cooling off period, after the filing of the petition during which the court shall exercise all efforts to reunite and reconcile the parties”) instead of jumping into exaggerated conclusions, the world would be such a peaceful place.

Second, to those religious hypocrites, I fervently pray to the same GOD that you will never go through the hell I literally went through. I feel like these people who call themselves “Christians” do not care for the abused as long as their sacraments are kept “sacred.” But I wonder, why is annulment allowed when it actually weighs heavier? It was never protested even if it is unbiblical and ironically is a law accepted by the church. It’s a nullification of marriage, a total mockery of the sanctity of the said sacrament.

It is right that God hates divorce as stated in the bible but if you read in the same bible, HE ALLOWED IT because of the stubbornness of man and on the grounds of marital unfaithfulness and abandonment (see Matthew 19:8-9).

Points to ponder on:

  1. Is the government changing any of the teachings of the Church when Congress passed the bill?

  2. By legalizing divorce in the country, does it mean that all marriages will end in divorce?

  3. Is the responsibility of the Church to preserve the sanctity of marriage suspended with the passage of this bill?

Suggestion: the church in general, should be more proactive in preserving marriage rather than being so reactive. This is a challenge I believe a strong church will have to endure and in the process, it will generate more meaningful engagement with it’s congregation. The church should be adaptive to change and instead be the driving force in maintaining healthy marriages in our country. Church, do not be lazy.

Third, they say to think about the children. EXACTLY.

Would you rather that the children remain in a cold and hard environment? Would you rather that the children be witnesses to one parent’s abuse? Worse, would you rather that the children would also fall victim to abuse?

What is abuse?

Domestic abuse is not limited to just physical abuse. This is not just about the time when he grabbed his wife by the throat and slammed her on the kitchen door and banged her head on the window grills. This is not just about the time he yanked her hair and dragged her from the shower, naked, and threw her on the living room floor and kicked her leg. This is not just about the time he hit her face so hard that she had to miss her job interview because her concealer can’t even do what it was made to do. This is not just about the time that he spat on her eye because she found out he was cheating, again.

This is also about the time he made her feel ugly and worthless and stupid. This is also about the time he called her nasty names. This is also about the countless times he threatened to leave after every argument and she would desperately plead for him to stay to make things work. This is also about the time when he’d rather be lazy than help out with the household finances, even with the money he made illegally. She had to work two jobs. This is also about the emotional blackmail, him playing the victim card and putting the blame on her for whatever shit he was going through, using the sacrament of marriage as a foreground for guilt and manipulation. Hell, this is even also about the time he ripped her ragged cat doll to pieces and she had to pick up the parts and sew it back together because she can’t sleep without it.

Domestic abuse is not only physical abuse but also emotional abuse, psychological abuse and economic abuse.

The bill, in its declaration of policy, states it is intended to “save the children from pain, stress, and agony consequent to their parents’ constant marital clashes” and “grant the divorced spouses the right to marry again for another chance at marital bliss.”

It is heartless to make someone remain in an abusive situation.

Finally, how do you fix an irreparable relationship without spending for an arm and a leg? When you file for legal separation or annulment, it costs an average of P250,000 (and I’d rather spend that hefty amount of money on my kids) and is a lengthy, embarrassing and painful process. Again if people only read through the bill, the court exempts poor people (indigent is defined in the bill) from legal fees and listing domestic violence, attempts to engage a spouse in prostitution and irreconcilable differences as among the grounds other than feigning psychological incapacity.

Divorce is optional. It is not a replacement of annulment. It is merely an option and not an imposition. But because I am for divorce, I’ve been called lame, egotistic and somehow demonic. People need to recognize that everyone has a fundamental right to choose what is best for them. No one is stopping you to go ahead and live by your life principles but that does not give you the right to force your beliefs onto someone who does not share the same and start calling them out if they do not adhere to your views. Leave them to choose for themselves and stop being insensitive, self-righteous pricks.

I am for divorce not because I want to remarry, (I don’t think I will ever get married again) but because I want my freedom. I certainly did not wish for my marriage to end and fail but for more than 10 years, I’ve selflessly and endlessly gave “second” chances and I’m totally drained. I want mine too.

Please Universe, don’t jinx this.

 

xx

DMV

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